Blog Posts by Erin Flaherty, Shine staff

  • Dear Margo: Considering an affair now that the "spark" is gone


    Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places

    DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at first, as neither of us had any prior experience, but in the last few years it has improved a lot. The problem is that we have become more distant from each other. We only seem to talk about work, business or the children. We also seem to argue more lately. The spark has gone. I used to try to do different things to get us out of our routine and add some romance and spice to our relationship. During the last year, I've lost interest in even trying to improve things. We have sex frequently, but I don't feel satisfied even after reaching climax. I've been chatting and talking on the phone with someone I met on a dating site a couple of months ago. He's a married man going through a similar situation. We feel very attracted to each other physically and

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  • Online dating: beware these Craigslist losers



    Oh lordy loo. Online dating is such a dang minefield, no? I mean, who knows who is on the other side of that screen? How to know whether Mr. Right is Mr. Right Now, or worse, Mr. I Have My Pants Off Right Now and I Want to Show You Something Special. Yuck. Ladies, trust me, I have been there and done that with the whole interweb dating game, but I really thought I had seen it all until I came across this oh so eye-opening (and hilarious) Cracked post, deciphering the true intent behind the lowest of low: the Craigslist "Casual Encounters" gang. Meet the "Clein man looking for clein woman tonight" (German perhaps?), and the very polite young man who writes:

    "Thanks for reading this post. I am a well built and drug free gentleman with a strong sexual drive. I have a desire to be with an expecting mother (Pregnant) and want to make this fantasy come true. There is something so beautiful about pregnant women and I would love nothing more than to please one. I play no games and ask that

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  • How baseball can save your relationship



    Er, not so scientific study says baseball saves marriages somehow:

    "When Denver was considering the financing to bring the Colorado Rockies baseball team to town I did a survey, just for fun. I wanted to see what the relationship was in the divorce rate between communities that had major league baseball teams and those that wanted them. What I discovered was, you're 28 percent more likely to get a divorce if you live in a town that wants a professional baseball team," the professor explained.

    Markman admits there is a definite connection between where most of the major league teams are located in this country and the divorce rate. The Northeast is home base for most ball clubs. It's well documented by the National Center for Health Statistics and other studies by various universities that the Northeast has the lowest divorce rate in the U.S.

    Markman took his baseball study one step further in his book "Fighting For Your Marriage." He said, "Baseball is something couples can do

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  • Housewives want to be (with) Jackie Warner

    The hot lesbian next door. [Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]The hot lesbian next door. [Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

    I haven't seen "Work Out," a Bravo reality show that, from what I can tell, seems to chronicle the personal and professional lives of Jackie Warner and a bunch of other hot L.A. trainers. But I do read that old rag The New York Times, and noticed an article all about how Jackie, a lesbian and apparent object of lust to the countless housewives who breathlessly tune in to watch her show. "I have hard-core women that get major crushes. I have women that send me - this is the weird thing - I have women that send me photos of themselves with their husbands and three teenage boys or whatever - I'm just giving you an example - with a love letter attached," says Warner. Creepy!

    I also checked out After Ellen.com, a Logo site mentioned in the article that offers "commentary on lesbian and bisexual women in entertainment and media." Not only did I appreciate that this coverage exists (on the rare occasion I get to watch TV, I love the Logo channel!), but the whole "after Ellen" concept got me

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  • Oh Canada! Sexy guys who can get you free Valium, too

    Just a sampling of the goods Canada has to offer. [Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]Just a sampling of the goods Canada has to offer. [Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

    A dear, single girlfriend of mine just got back from her first ever trip to Toronto, or Canada for that matter. When she returned, she rang me up immediately:

    "Do you know how many hot guys there are in Canada? It was weird, but everywhere I went I met all kinds of adorable single guys," she said.

    "You should marry one," I countered.

    "Why?" she asked.

    "For the health care," I said.

    That's right ladies, not only are there loads of eligible bachelors up north, but they've got access to exceptionally good free health coverage. Talk about friends with benefits! The (second) best part is: They're just dying to meet you! Hook-a-Canuck is a dating website that links up Canadians and their southern neighbors via links to Yahoo Canada Personals in addition to some rather inexplicable links to um, "Kiefer Sutherland's grandfather" (WTF!?!?) and a Canadian Geographic article about octogenarians or whatever 100-somethings are called. (Ah, I get it, this is how long you'll live if you marry Read More »from Oh Canada! Sexy guys who can get you free Valium, too
  • Slightly offensive new Post-it note campaign?



    Has anyone else had the pleasure of finding this photo (subject: How Real Men Use Post-It Notes) in their inbox recently? Evidently it's been making the rounds. First thought: What merry little prankster actually spent time Photoshopping this puppy together? Second question: Wait, is this a real ad? Third: Is this hilarious? Or is it just plain offensive?

    Anyone?

  • Do you tell the world (or your partner) about your STD?


    The bloglines over at Jezebel are blowin' up tonight due to a poll posted by admitted herpes um, infectee (!?) and staff writer "Slut Machine." (Hey, statistics show having the herp in this day and age doesn't exactly make her some kind of anomaly, but I still applaud her courage.) Anyhoo, I thought I'd ask the gals over here, too:

    Do you inform your partner about the dirty details behind your STD? When? And how? Inquiring minds definitely want to know...

  • The kinkiest animal in the kingdom



    Who doesn't love a little random animal sex factoid moment every now and then? Turns out, the octopus is one kinky little mother. U.C. Berkeley scientists got more than they bargained for when they spent weeks observing the notoriously shy cephalopods ensconced in reefs off the coast of Indonesia. Cross dressing and strangulation are just a few of the racy tactics these fetishistic creatures engage in when it comes to getting laid:

    "Alpha males would never leave the side of their female consorts, and dealt with other suitors-that might try to remove the alpha male's sperm from the female and replace it with their own-harshly, sometimes by strangling them to death with their tentacles. The less manly of the lot would often impersonate females to avoid stronger males by altering stripes on their bodies to look more like those of the fairer sex. They would then sneak up on a possible mate and engage in an act of copulation that lasted up to six times longer than their more macho peers

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  • Porn for women: how housework can get you in the mood



    Last week, we reported that according to new University of Michigan study, having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework a week for women. But move over, there's yet another study in town, and this one equals great news for any messy men out there that want to make it up to their best gals. From Yahoo Health:

    "A recent survey featured in Parenting magazine has found that 15% of women are aroused when their partners pitch in around the house. Additionally, a 2006 study found that men who helped with household chores were more attractive to their spouses."

    So what do you think? Is there something simply irresistible about a man in a French maid's costume? Or rather, a guy that insists on doing the dishes after dinner?

    The article also mentions using "positive reinforcement" instead of "nagging" in order to convince a guy to keep up the good work, and even goes so far as to suggest using sex as a tool to coax him along:

    "When and if he cleans up after himself, reward him

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  • Why this man is only interested in a one-night stand



    A new UK study claims a large square jaw, large nose and small eyes convey to a woman that a man is merely one-night stand material, whereas less traditionally "masculine" features seemed to connote more long-term mate potential.

    According to an article that recently appeared via the Canadian Broadcasting Centre News, "Researchers from Durham, St. Andrews and Aberdeen universities conducted two studies asking more than 700 heterosexual participants to judge facial photos for attractiveness and attitudes toward sex. The photos, all of real people in their 20s, were manipulated to reflect strong features associated with sexual openness or commitment." The surprising results are published in the latest edition of the scholarly journal, Evolution and Human Behavior.

    And here's another shocker: "The study also found that men and women are looking for opposite things when it comes to relationships, with men seeking women who are open to casual or short-term flings while women look for

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